Robert Marchand died in France at the age of 109 years, the television channel France 3 reported on May 22.
According to his information, Marchand died in a nursing home in the commune of Mitry-Mory, northeast of Paris. No cause of death was reported.
Marchand survived two world wars, worked as a fireman, a farmer, a lumberjack, a shoe and wine salesman.
From the age of 67, he became involved in major races. In 1992, he did a bike ride from Paris to Moscow.
In 2017, he rode 22.5 kilometers in one hour at the Saint-Cantin-en-Yvelines velodrome; in August of the same year, he also won the title of 105-year-old world cycling champion.
Marchand cycled 20 kilometers from Privé to Le Poussin in the Alpine department of Ardèche at the end of 2018, and then stopped competing at the insistence of doctors. In 2019, the French Cycling Federation banned Marchand from setting new records, fearing that the veteran’s health might deteriorate.
As Marchand told himself, the main secret of his longevity lies in his love for sport and tireless desire to enjoy life, as well as in giving up smoking, limiting alcohol and coffee, and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables. In November 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the champion even sent an open letter to French President Emmanuel Macron urging him to resume the sport.
According to a friend of the athlete, Gerard Mistler, people may not know the name of the last winner of the Tour de France, but they know Robert Marchand, reports Le Parisien.